What employers should ask before an interview.

Blog Post Published 28th January 2016

5 Questions to Answer Before You Begin Your Interview Process

Interview processes vary widely between companies; from the more corporate style of competency based questions to the relaxed, chatty style often found in smaller organisations.  Neither style should be immediately adopted as the “right way”; each has its own merits and a happy medium can of course be found somewhere between the two depending on what is suitable for you.

Interview panel


Regardless of your interview style Success Recruit recommends you answer these 5 key questions before you begin looking for a new recruit:


Why do we need this new person?  

In our opinion “because someone is leaving” is not a sufficient answer.  In a sense part of the question is “do we really need this person?”  Your existing team may already have the required skills and expertise to manage without this person; particularly in the short term.  This question will help you understand the urgency with which you need to recruit.  If a Dental Surgery is without someone that can carry out a basic check-up they will be losing money every day and so the need is very urgent, it may not matter if the person is a ray of sunshine or not!  However, if they are missing a sales representative that develops relationships with companies offering dental care to their employees the requirement is not so urgent.  An additional month, or longer, spent finding the right person is arguably more important than filling the vacancy immediately.  You need to understand why the person is needed before you start.



What exactly do you need from this person?  

It is really important to understand what the new recruit is expected to bring to your business before you begin your search.  At Success Recruit we tell our clients that you start with the person’s values and personality.  Skills can be taught; a naturally quiet person cannot be the life and soul of the company.  You need to understand how the person will fit in with the team; you may be looking for someone to provide a calming presence or you may be looking for a more vibrant person to lift everyone.  New recruits must share your company’s values; this is an imperative.  Someone’s skills may be exactly what you need but if they do not share your values we can guarantee one thing; it will end in tears!  Of course the skills of the person are important; there is no good hiring someone who has your company values but no clue on how to do the job in hand.


What is the job specification? 

This question is for your own purposes as much as the employees.  What will this person be doing in your company?  Understanding the answer to this question allows you to establish what is expected of them, how they will be measured and what results your company will enjoy.  At times it may seem arduous but a detailed job specification is imperative to the interview process, as it forms the basis for your questions.  If a particular skill is imperative to the job you will need to probe potential employees on their ability in this area!

What value will this person bring to my company?

Understanding this question should inform your decision on how much this person should be paid!  Our advice is this; do not judge how much this person should be paid by looking at how much your competitors pay similar staff.  Of what relevance is that to your organisation?  You should pay your staff based on the value they bring to your organisation; this is the only fair way.


What is our interview process? 

Write it down and stick to it!  It is important for three key reasons; first and foremost, writing it down prior to becoming emotionally involved in the process will help ensure it makes sense.  Secondly, you can keep candidates informed of decision times, etc.  This is really important, as candidates do get nervous when job hunting and a less attractive rival offer may be accepted due to fear if they do not know what is going on with your process.  And finally, you are more likely to stick to it!  We have all done it; a candidate dazzles us and we want to hire them there and then!  If that is your process, fine!  But if not, take a step back, finish the process and make the decision with a little less emotional attachment.


So now you understand what you need, when you need it, the role this person will take, the value they will bring and the process you are going to take to get it.  This will help you get it right as often as possible.  No one gets recruitment right every time, trust us!


Of course Success Recruit will be delighted to help you and provide advice on your interview process so if this is relevant to your business please get in touch today!